Last night was the opening party for the Idelsohn Society's Tikva Records, a pop-up Jewish record store and community space in San Francisco's Bernal Heights. The place is fantastic but it's the upcoming events there that will make it a magical month. (Boing Boing is honored to be the media sponsor.) Tomorrow evening (Saturday, 12/3), animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi will be there to screen excerpts from Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, American Pop, and other groundbreaking pioneers from his long career. (Above toon from Bakshi's Mighty Heroes series, 1966). All the Tikva Records events are free (donations suggested) and tickets are almost gone for Bakshi's presentation, so be sure to reserve yours at the Eventbrite page. Over at the Idelsohn Society site, BB pal Marc Weidenbaum writes:
Bakshi achieved many of his most lauded works with the process of "rotoscoping," in which live-action footage provides a template for illustrations. The technique informed such Bakshi films as Fire & Ice (a collaboration with Frank Frazetta) and The Lord of the Rings. His career can be traced back to production studios of the mid-1950s, when he began as a "cell polisher" for Terrytoons and was soon animating such titles as Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle.
American Pop deserves particular attention in the context of the December 2011 Tikva Records pop-up store in San Francisco. The film is a masterpiece of ecstatic conflation. It ties together the disparate threads of American popular song, everything from pre-WWI emigre culture to ragtime to the Brill Building to the rise of rock'n'roll. (See original production cell reproduced here.)
And it accomplishes its epic sweep through a Zelig-like creation: not an individual who happens to be a background character throughout history, but a multi-generational Jewish family that is presented as fully responsible for major cultural milestones.
"The Immigrant Songs of Animator Ralph Bakshi" (Idelsohn Society)